Individual content creators on notice as king of YouTube set to be dethroned

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PewDiePie at The Force Awakens premiere. 

By VINCENT CHUA 

Bollywood YouTube channel T-Series is predicted to dethrone PewDiePie as the most subscribed YouTube channel, hailing a new era of  domination on the platform.

Felix “PewDiePie” Kjellberg holds the title of the most subscribed YouTuber with 66 million subscribers.

SocialBlade, a YouTube analytics website, calculated that T-Series would surpass PewDiePie by late October based on the growth trend of their respective daily subscribers.

Graph of PewDiePie and T-Series’ daily average subscribers. Source: socialblade.com

T-Series stands as the second most subscribed channel, only two million subscribers behind PewDiePie.

T-Series is gaining an average of 138,000 daily subscribers, compared with PewDiePie’s 31,000 daily subscribers.

Fans of the platform have different views on what it would mean for individual content creators as bigger companies take over YouTube.

In one of his videos, Mr Kjellberg said not being the most-subscribed channel would not bother him.

“I’ve expressed that I don’t want to be the No.1 channel on YouTube for a long time. If T-Series was an actual individual and not a company, I would gladly congratulate them,” he said.

There is some concern that major media companies will start to dominate YouTube and overshadow individual content creators.

Future prediction of PewDiePie and T-Series’ subscriber count. Source: socialblade.com

Some of the largest channels on YouTube are late-night and daytime shows, such as Ellen and The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.

The other point of view is that major media companies would bring in a new market of viewers, which would also benefit individual content creators.

Delhi Masters student Akshay Sindwani said the success of T-Series was not surprising given the immense success of Bollywood.

Masters student  Akshay Sindwani says T-Series’ rise to the top is no surprise. 

“Few outside the consumer circle know how influential it is to Bollywood consumers,” Mr Sindwani said.

“People have only recently started talking about T-Series because of their success on YouTube, but [T-Series] has been around forever.”

Mr Sindwani said T-Series’ popularity had grown and spread outside India, resulting in its high subscriber count. 

“Bollywood has a huge audience not only in India’s huge population, but they also have a lot of consumers outside of India as well, which is why T-Series’ growth makes sense,” he said.

“Bollywood influences the way we speak, our slang, it influences our people so much that Bollywood becomes our culture.”

Mr Sindwani said there was equal opportunity for individual creators and media companies on YouTube.

“It all comes down to YouTube’s algorithm on which videos they would promote and if people are able to cleverly exploit the algorithm they can be just as successful,” he said.

“There is that one channel where it is essentially just a kid reviewing toys, and it is now one of the channels with the most views on YouTube,” said Mr Sindwani, referring to Ryan ToysReview, which has almost 25 billion views and is third on YouTube’s most-viewed channels.

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Cast of the show Bhoomi at T-Series’ studio in Mumbai.

Jun Ei Chai, a long-time PewDiePie fan, said he would not be disappointed if T-Series overtook PewDiePie because PewDiePie would still be the most subscribed individual creator.

“You can’t compare someone who is working individually to a company,” Mr Chai said.

He said larger media channels growing on YouTube would not negatively affect individual content creators.

“With companies like T-Series taking over PewDiePie, I think that it will only encourage him to do better and also motivate other individual creators to do the same,” said Mr Chai.

“I think individual creators will be able to easily adapt and find ways to get views.”